The importance of seeking palliative care early

The importance of seeking palliative care early

By: Jonquil Siepman, marketing and liaison for Hospice East Rand.

Most people believe that hospice and palliative care are required at the end of one’s life. This assumption is far from the truth.

Palliative care is an active, holistic approach to caring for individuals across all ages with serious health-related suffering due to a severe illness. The principal aim of palliative care is to provide relief of physical, psychosocial and spiritual symptoms associated with your illness. We aim to control pain and other complex symptoms so that a patient can remain as comfortable as possible and enjoy a good quality of life.

Our approach with palliative care means we don’t just care for our patients, but we support their families and caregivers as well. We provide a holistic range of services to support patients throughout their illness. These include pain management and symptom control, psychosocial support and spiritual support.

Our role also supports other doctors and specialists as we have trained experience in complex pain management and symptom control. As a team, we assist patients with day to day medical and psychological support and where necessary, assist in breaking bad news, advanced care planning, and end-of-life care coordination. Our experienced and compassionate team help patients navigate difficult health decisions and ensure their wishes regarding their care are upheld.

Add to that, in most cases, medical aid patients can rest assured that their palliative care benefit is different from their oncology or advanced illness benefit which makes all the difference.